Press Notice No: 115-12
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Posted 17:18 GMT
COASTGUARDS WARN BEACH USERS TO BEWARE OF RIP CURRENTS FOLLOWING TWO NEAR MISSES
Coastguards are issuing a strong safety message this afternoon as tragedies were narrowly avoided on the Northumberland and South Wales coastlines.
At 1.30 pm, multiple 999 calls where received from onlookers at St Aidans Beach, Seahouses, as two teenage girls got into difficulty in a rip current. Battling the strong current, one of them managed to get to safety but with one girl still in the water, her brother attempted the rescue himself.
Both Inshore and All Weather RNLI Lifeboats from Seahouses were requested to launch and the Seahouses Coastguard Rescue Team were requested to attend. Rescue Helicopter 131 from RAF Boulmer was also diverted to the scene. As the 999 calls continued, it emerged that the father of both boy and girl had also gone into the water but had abandoned his rescue as he could not fight the tide. Though exhausted, the boy and girl managed to get ashore themselves but required some urgent medical attention. They were evacuated to hospital by the Rescue Helicopter along with the other girl.
Being cold, shocked and having swallowed a lot of sea water, the three teenagers are now being treated at the Wansbeck Hospital, Newbiggin and Humber Coastguard cannot stress enough the importance of awareness of tides and currents when on the beach especially if visiting the area on holiday.
At 2.30 pm Swansea Coastguard received a 999 call from a woman on a beach at Three Cliff Bay on the South Gower coast. Her three young children and their father were in difficulty in the water and were battling with a rip current. The rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor was scrambled, the Mumbles Inshore Lifeboat was launched and the Oxwich Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to the scene. The Coastguard also broadcast a distress message to which several vessels responded.
One of the children had managed to make it to rocks and was rescued by the lifeboat from there. The other two children and their father were picked up from the water by the lifeboat. All four were airlifted to Morriston Hospital suffering with water ingestion and shock.
Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard Watch Manager says:
These children, teenagers and adults have been extremely lucky today, and we are thankful of a safe outcome. Strong currents are unforgiving, and I urge all beach users and bathers to be aware of the inherent dangers. Two men attempted self rescue, and were also overcome themselves.
David Jones, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager says:
If you are visiting the beach, try to go to one which is patrolled by lifeguards and swim between the flags. Take notice of any warning signs. In an emergency tell the lifeguard if one is available or if on a unguarded beach call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Posted By: Joanne Groenenberg
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401